Joe Cortese is known for his work on the stage, television, and film. He most recently worked on the Oscar Award winning film The Green Book, and he portrayed the late fashion designer Gianni Versace in the televised drama The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which won three Golden Globes. Now, Cortese is taking on a new and unique role. He will make an appearance as Roger Stone on the Showtime original miniseries The Loudest Voice, which is based on the Gabriel Sherman book The Loudest Voice in the Room. I recently had a chance to talk speak with Mr. Cortese about his thoughts on the role and the program itself.
You portray Roger Stone, who I have read is an advisor to President Trump, and you said is a bit of a wild card—
Well, yeah. You know anything about him?
From what I understand, I believe he’s well known for his posts on Instagram.
Yeah, he’s that and he worked in the Nixon campaign, he’s got a tattoo of Nixon on his back, he’s got the gag order by the federal judges a couple of times. He’s a really colorful character, he was arrested in Florida a couple of months back. They came to his house at 6 o’clock in the morning. He’s in the news a lot.
He sounds like an interesting person, and I’m curious about your portrayal of Roger Stone. What made you want to take on this role?
Well, it’s an interesting character to me. He’s in the news a lot for what he does. I saw his documentary twenty five times called “Get Me Roger Stone.” You know, he was an interesting character. It was different from the last thing I did. That’s pretty much why I wanted to do the role. It was also exciting to work with such a great actor as Russell; the team that made this miniseries; Tom McCarthy, who wrote Spotlight. So, it was interesting that a book Sherman wrote about Roger Ailes who is…he’s a despicable character, and they portray him really…I mean, it’s pretty intense. So, that’s why I took the job. It had good, quality people involved.
What’s the experience been in filming as Roger Stone?
You know, it’s a great experience. I think it went well. It’s coming on Sunday night. Again, he’s a character—like I said, he’s a cameo, but they talk a lot about what he had to do in helping Trump get elected. I’m not political, but he’s an interesting character, that’s all.
You mentioned that you watched a documentary, which is what helped you prepare for the role.
Oh yeah, I did a lot of research for the role. I watched the documentary; talked to people in news media that knew him, Florida. You know, that’s how I prepared to play him. He has this image. They call him “The Dark Prince of Politics.” They call him the Libertarian Peacock. He’s kind of an “out there” character. He’s outspoken and he’s a little bit like Trump, you know? Makes really stupid statements. He was an interesting character to play.
From what I see in the news, he seems like an interesting character.
Yeah, he’s fun. You know?
What do you expect your audience to take away from “The Loudest Voice?”
I think it speaks to certain people. Everybody’ll walk away with something different I imagine, you know? It’s interesting about what Fox News was about and how they became what they became. It’s basically a bio on Roger Ailes. He’s the loudest voice in the room. Everybody will walk away with something different. For me, I have no peculiar statement to make about that except it’s really well directed, really well-written and that’s about it.
If fans want to keep up with you and learn more about “The Loudest Voice,” is there a way they can follow you on social media?
I’m on Facebook. I’m on Instagram. I was just in the Oscar-winning movie The Green Book. I am also making a movie that I’m producing called Tonight and Every night, a short that I made. A true story about a man, a Greek diner owner who has dementia that sees himself as Johnny Carson. It’s humorous, it’s touching. So, we made a short and now we’re making a feature film. I’m doing it with the woman who wrote and directed the short, because it’s a true story about her father. Her name is Christina Eliopoulos, and we’re in the process of trying to get it produced now. That’s what I’m working on currently.
That’s sounds interesting, and I’m definitely going to look that up.
Yeah, it’s Tonight and Every Night. You can go to her YouTube. It’s very interesting. The short’s about 22 minutes and feature’s going to be a little bit different, but it’s basically about—it’s a love story about two people who have been together for awhile and he comes down with the disease, but instead of making it a downer, it’s made into a humorous, loving journey.
Tune in every Sunday night for new episodes of The Loudest Voice, and keep an eye out for Joe Cortese’s appearance in tonight’s episode of The Loudest Voice on Showtime at 10 pm.